Nebraska Revised Statute 46-261

Chapter 46


Lands to be irrigated; appropriations transferred; information filed with Department of Natural Resources; recording gauges; failure to install; effect.

(1) The Department of Natural Resources may require an appropriator or his or her agent to furnish the department, by April 1 in any year, a list or map of all lands to be irrigated, the acreage of each tract, and the names of the owners, controllers, or officers for every ditch, reservoir, or other device for appropriating, diverting, carrying, or distributing water to be used as a basis for the distribution of water until April 1 of the following year, and if so ordered such a list or map shall be furnished by the appropriator or his or her agent to the department.

(2) By April 1, any district or company which has transferred an appropriation pursuant to sections 46-2,127 to 46-2,129 in the previous calendar year shall provide the department:

(a) A legal description and list or map of the tracts of land receiving and transferring an appropriation of water, or portion thereof, within the district or company;

(b) The water appropriation permit number under sections 46-233 to 46-235 and the priority date of the water appropriation;

(c) A statement on whether objections were filed, whether a hearing was held, and how consent was given;

(d) The effective date of the transfer of the appropriation; and

(e) A statement summarizing the water use on the receiving and transferring tracts of land.

(3) The department may require the owner or controller of any canal or ditch to install an approved recording gauge at one or more specific locations to record the amount of water used.

(4) For any appropriation not held by an irrigation district, a reclamation district, a public power and irrigation district, or a mutual irrigation or canal company, the department may require the owner of an appropriation for irrigation purposes to provide the department with any or all of the following information relative to the use of water under the appropriation during the previous irrigation season: (a) A list or map of all lands irrigated; (b) the acreage of each tract irrigated; (c) the rate at which water was diverted; (d) the amount diverted; (e) for any lands under the appropriation that were not irrigated, any sufficient cause, as described in section 46-229.04, which the appropriator claims was the reason for such nonuse; and (f) any other information needed by the department to properly monitor and administer use of water under the appropriation. If the appropriator claims sufficient cause for nonuse, he or she shall also provide the department with any evidence the department requires as a condition for accepting such claimed cause as sufficient cause to excuse nonuse.

(5) The department may deny an appropriator the right to any water to be delivered to or used by or through any ditch, reservoir, or other contrivance for the appropriation, use, or storage of water if the appropriator is not in compliance with this section, with subsection (2) of section 46-230, or with any conditions of any permit, notice, or order of the department concerning the appropriation. The department may construct bars or dams or may install such other devices as are necessary to prevent such delivery or use.


  • Laws 1919, c. 190, tit. VII, art. V, div. 3, § 15, p. 851;
  • C.S.1922, § 8465;
  • C.S.1929, § 46-615;
  • R.S.1943, § 46-261;
  • Laws 1979, LB 245, § 1;
  • Laws 1981, LB 114, § 1;
  • Laws 1995, LB 94, § 1;
  • Laws 1995, LB 99, § 16;
  • Laws 2000, LB 900, § 123;
  • Laws 2004, LB 962, § 15.


  • Filing of acreage reports did not establish use of water for irrigation purposes. Rogers v. Petsch, 174 Neb. 313, 117 N.W.2d 771 (1962).

  • It is the duty of the state to see that the waters of its streams used for irrigation purposes will not be wasted, and that prior appropriators will be protected as against subsequent appropriators. State ex rel. Sorensen v. Mitchell Irr. Dist., 129 Neb. 586, 262 N.W. 543 (1935).